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IT Management & Cloud Podcast #47 – ITIL, CMDB, and ITSM with The IT Skeptic, Rob England


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This week, John and I have a fun guest on, Rob England, aka, The IT Skeptic:

  • How to tell the difference between Australian and New Zealand accent.
  • How did Rob get started doing the IT Skeptic.
  • What’s up with ITILv3? Do you think we’ll ever get ITIL for free? Do things like MOF being Creative Commons put pressure on ITIL to be more open. Rob also suggests COBIT.
  • The lean CMDB, or “On-Demand CMDB”having a maximal CMDB costs too much, so you need to have a scale-backed one of some sort.
  • What’s the gradient of CMDBs out there? The ITIL definition is very clear, but there’s lots of people on “the journey” to CMDB. The emphasis for CMDBs is on maintaining the relationships between raw IT and the business services they help deliver.
  • How does CMDB auto-discovery mix with reality? An initial baseline/theory is good with discovery, but the problem is what’s discovered may not match “reality” – how things are supposed to be – missing all the rouge configuration out there. Process has to be applied to keep things discovered and modeled properly. Ongoing, discovery is good for auditing your assumptions about IT, but maybe not the best way to get the “pure” CMDB model. And then there’s all the manual stuff as well, like mapping up the business services.
  • What will be impacted by this change? What we need is a configuration process, not a magic tool. The “magic tools,” of course help the process, but the process is the overlord. While on the one hand hand, you don’t want your CMDB walking out the door – that is, it being all in employee’s heads – on the other hand, sometimes that works fine if the process is optimized.
  • While we know that change management is good, it seems so painful to do it, so how do you get people to start doing it? “I think change is all stick and no carrot, unfortunately.”What’s the aspiration vs. usage of ITIL Rob’s seeing out there? Lots of people know about it, and aspire to it, but usage… there’s 1/2 million people with ITIL foundation training, which means a common language is (probably) being formed.
  • John asks about crossing IT Service Management with cloud computing. Esp. of interest here is how a service catalog fits in and linking up cloud stuff with business services. With cloud, the ITSM problem is that you don’t have visibility into what’s going wrong with your service providers to diagnose problems.
  • So what are the other problems with cloud computing cross with existing IT departments? Testing and change management of existing, even legacy IT.
  • Having pointed out the problems with cloud computing, we delve into the benefits and try to rig up a sense for the long-term spread of cloud technologies in IT. Rob says it’ll be 10 years before the cloud is a mainstream approach.
  • The IT Skeptic books: Owning ITIL, Introduction to Real ITSM, The Worst of the IT Skeptic, and Working in IT.

Categories: IT Management Podcast, Systems Management.

Comment Feed

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for a great session guys!

    I must have had a mental meltdown during recording: some words got lost between brain and mouth. The guy who challenged me re ITIL was not CA's architect. Alan Mayo was the architect at a CA client in New Zealand. CA were of course eagerly embracing ITIL.

    I didn't talk about what is actually my favourite book, Working in IT, which I am most passionate about: IT professionalism and careers and self-preservation.

    thanks again guys!

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